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Social [NY Mag] The Clock-Out Cure | Quitting has become the ultimate form of self-care

Maiden Voyage

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Sep 5, 2014
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I've had the urge to quit over the past few months due to some of the strains at work. I even took a short term notice vacation early this year to get some time off to help distance myself from some of the drudgery of work. These feelings of dissatisfaction quite honestly make no sense to me--It's easily the best job I've ever had and at the best pay rate. So what drives this? In the article below, I believe the following sentence encapsulates what is happening in my mind:
“Burnout syndrome occurs when the ego overheats,” he writes, “which follows from too much of the Same.”
I've been in my current role for about 3.5 years, promoted from a similar position I was in for 2. I get enough praise, raises, promotions, etc.Yet the work, while often fulfilling, comes with a lot of internal politics that is draining. I've essentially been fighting the same fight for over 5 years. I'm good at it, but it does not come without a mental toll.

How are you faring GAF? Are you feeling burnt out? What are you doing to combat it?

Locked behind a paywall, so the text of the article is below:

My quitting fantasies became most vivid in December. It was the stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time when, historically, little work gets accomplished anyway. Here’s how I imagined my resignation: I would wait for that familiar feeling to set in, the one in which I’d sooner be swallowed into the Earth’s core than complete one more routine work task. Then, instead of doing it, I’d simply … not. I would not answer the email. Not send my ideas for the pitch meeting. I’d tell my editor, “You know what, actually? Today’s my last day.” Then I’d sign out of Slack, forever.

But, of course, I never did. The next day would be better, I told myself, and even if it wasn’t, reality proved unignorable: My wife, like millions of other Americans, had lost her job in the pandemic. I was responsible for both our livelihood and our health insurance. I was grateful to have kept my job, one of the few constants in an otherwise turbulent year; at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel I was running out of labor to give, especially as I watched my social-media feeds light up with reports of other professionals clocking out for good. Mayors, academics, journalists, financial analysts, even pastors — all of them, it seemed, were quitting their jobs. Some announced they were leaving for new fields; others had no next steps in mind except to sleep and read and spend time with family. But the reason they gave was the same: They were burned out.

Despite how colloquial the term burnout has become, the concept originated in a strictly clinical setting. Coined in the 1970s by American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, it referred to the consequences of severe stress and “high ideals” within the “helping professions” like medicine and social work. Among the medical community, however, burnout never quite became a serious issue, perhaps because there was no consensus as to how it should be measured, much less diagnosed. The Maslach Burnout Inventory, developed in 1981, was the most commonly used scale, but even then, it became the subject of considerable infighting among academics. In 2003, the researchers Philip Liu and David Van Liew complained that “the term burnout is used so frequently that it has lost much of its original meaning [and] now seems to have become an alternative word for depression but with a less serious significance.”

Today we use burnout as a catchall term, a word to describe the entire maelstrom of emotion endemic to working life in 2021: anxiety, grief, boredom, exhaustion. One viable cure, it appears, is to quit your job.

Once upon a time, quitting carried negative connotations — weakness of spirit, an un-American lack of discipline. But in recent years, it has become increasingly fashionable to say no. Therapists, career coaches, and influencers alike now push the power of recusing oneself: “No, I won’t take on extra work without added compensation.” “No, I won’t attend the party with people I don’t even like.” “No, I won’t accept a date just to spare someone else’s feelings.” If guarding one’s time became an act of self-empowerment, the ultimate move, then, would be to leave life’s most time-consuming obligation entirely. Today, boldly ditching your job is seen as a radical form of self-care. It’s not only healthy but brave — even aspirational.

Irvin Schonfeld, a former professor of psychology at the City College of New York, sees the proliferated use of burnout as a somewhat misleading way for workers to express dissatisfaction with a particular job. There are, in his view, many good reasons to quit: You’re overworked, you don’t get enough time with family, your boss is terrible, you want a break, or all of the above. None of these necessarily rises to the level of burnout, at least as traditionally defined. “I think it’s enough for someone to say, ‘I became dissatisfied with my job,’ ” says Schonfeld — who, incidentally, retired from teaching partway through the pandemic for what he says were “existential reasons.” “Why do we have to pathologize it?”

There is one good reason: When we pathologize something, it tends to get taken more seriously. Burnout is an attractive diagnosis for the self-aggrandizing; it suggests that one’s job is uniquely draining, almost to the point of a medical emergency. It’s also a predominantly white-collar condition. For those who can afford to quit, claiming burnout may be an effective way to signal one’s essential employability, a way to reassure your future bosses that you will work yourself to the bone for them, too — right after this break. Even those who choose to broadcast their own burnout can’t help but keep hustling. When writing about her own job-related exhaustion in 2017, Arianna Huffington drew a direct line from her sleep-deprived collapse to the authorship of two best-selling books and the founding of a media company, Thrive Global. (Former employees, citing editorial incompetence and mismanagement of resources, don’t quite see it the same way.)

Then again, perhaps the academic notion of burnout was always too narrow. In his 2010 treatise Müdigkeitsgesellschaft (since translated into nearly a dozen languages; the English translation, The Burnout Society, was published in 2015), the Korean-born German philosopher Byung-Chul Han argues that burnout is modern society’s most pervasive affliction, the natural result of “excess positivity,” by which he means capitalism’s unflagging belief in the power of individual productivity. If Zoom and other technologies made many jobs technically possible throughout a year of death and isolation, they also promoted the idea that continuing to work as usual amid unrelenting global suffering was emotionally and spiritually feasible. For many people, it turns out, it wasn’t. As Han explains, “The complaint of the depressive individual, ‘Nothing is possible,’ can only occur in a society that thinks, ‘Nothing is impossible.’ ”

Having transcended the Cold War’s reactive politics and fear of the foreign, Han argues, we’ve become “achievement-subjects” rather than “obedience-subjects.” Ostensibly freed from external dictatorship and bodily threat, we are left to rule ourselves, and we are merciless: “The exhausted, depressive achievement-subject grinds itself down, so to speak … Entirely incapable of stepping outward, of standing outside itself, of relying on the Other, it locks its jaws on itself; paradoxically, this leads the self to hollow and empty out.” Under Han’s theory of contemporary burnout, we are the snake eating its own tail.

Written a decade before the pandemic, Han’s book feels prophetic. “Burnout syndrome occurs when the ego overheats,” he writes, “which follows from too much of the Same.” Does there exist anywhere on earth a better descriptor of the past year?

The Burnout Society offers no tidy solutions; if it did, it would be self-help (and probably a best seller). But it seems obvious that, as alluring as the quitting fantasy may be, the relief it offers is only temporary. The pandemic heightened job stress for pretty much everyone, but the crisis was already well under way. There is no end in sight. As Schonfeld points out, “Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’re probably going to need to return to work at some point, right?”

In my case, nothing has really improved since December. It’s just that, for now, I need my job more than I want to leave it. In the meantime, I can dream. Tomorrow is another day (and another chance to quit).
 

Mista K

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Oct 5, 2010
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This is why it’s important to change routines in your personal life. You can only learn so much from the job you’re at, and once you finish, everything slows down. But if you go out of your way to enrich yourself, then suddenly the sparks will start flying again
 

Taxexemption

Member
Oct 11, 2011
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My job is pretty draining, I don't plan to quit, but I don't think I can do it forever. I'm an auditor. Everything has to be perfect, there is a very particular way things are supposed to be done, but the standards and rules keep changing. There is a hard deadline on everything we do, and often times we can't get work done because of changes that are being made in the organization, or how we are supposed to do the work. I plan to do this for at least a few more years because the pay and benefits are good, but after that I might start looking for a new employer. This job looks really good on a resume, so I want a lot of time here before I move on.
 

Aesius

Member
May 19, 2009
7,429
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I'm a "is the juice worth the squeeze" guy. And to me, a traditional M-F, 8-5 career is NOT worth the squeeze. I only lasted 3 years in the corporate world before I left and started freelancing. I remember my co-workers being blown away when I told them my plans. Not only was I not going into another M-F, 8-5 job, but I wasn't even going to work for a few months. I just chilled. And I was honest about my intentions and plans. They looked at me like I had 3 heads.

Of course, not everyone is able to do that. I was living with my girlfriend (now wife) in a cheap 1 bdr apt, and I had a lot of money saved up. I'm also really frugal, have no debt, and don't really spend much money. I've always valued free time and low stress over the traditional grind that (may) lead to more money. Thankfully, I've been able to keep making decent money while working far fewer hours. My brother is the complete opposite--he has worked 60+ hours a week for 20 years and makes great money, but he's quite literally "institutionalized" by his job.
 

synchronicity

Member
Dec 16, 2011
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I'm a "is the juice worth the squeeze" guy. And to me, a traditional M-F, 8-5 career is NOT worth the squeeze. I only lasted 3 years in the corporate world before I left and started freelancing. I remember my co-workers being blown away when I told them my plans. Not only was I not going into another M-F, 8-5 job, but I wasn't even going to work for a few months. I just chilled. And I was honest about my intentions and plans. They looked at me like I had 3 heads.

Of course, not everyone is able to do that. I was living with my girlfriend (now wife) in a cheap 1 bdr apt, and I had a lot of money saved up. I'm also really frugal, have no debt, and don't really spend much money. I've always valued free time and low stress over the traditional grind that (may) lead to more money. Thankfully, I've been able to keep making decent money while working far fewer hours. My brother is the complete opposite--he has worked 60+ hours a week for 20 years and makes great money, but he's quite literally "institutionalized" by his job.

Yep, me too. Everyone is free to live as they please, but I've never had any interest in "the chase" either. We all need money to survive, but when it becomes an end to itself, it drains any passion for life - for me anyway. No thanks. Life is so much richer when you follow the beat of your heart imho. (If that's grinding for more $ - more power to you though.)
 

Aesius

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May 19, 2009
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Yep, me too. Everyone is free to live as they please, but I've never had any interest in "the chase" either. We all need money to survive, but when it becomes an end to itself, it drains any passion for life - for me anyway. No thanks. Life is so much richer when you follow the beat of your heart imho. (If that's grinding for more $ - more power to you though.)
It's hard to be an American male and follow this lifestyle, as our identities are often so wrapped up in our careers and income. But I've found that the guys I know who make a lot of money and work a lot of hours are often extremely intrigued when I tell them about my day-to-day. They often can't comprehend that anyone could be happy not pursuing more money at the expense of everything else, but for me, it wasn't really a choice. It was just my natural inclination.

On the other hand, I can't comprehend that people are happy working 60+ hour weeks and making a lot of money, only to have no time or energy to enjoy it. I get the retirement argument, but is it really wise to build your entire life around your 60+ year old self while sacrificing your youth and vitality to the corporate grind? Maybe it is, especially if you make enough to retire really early (40s).

Obviously, I still work. And some weeks I work a lot of hours! More than 40 for sure. But I do it from home and I don't have a boss (instead, I have clients, which have their own pros and cons). But work is truly just something I do to live and spend time with friends, family, and hobbies.
 

synchronicity

Member
Dec 16, 2011
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It's hard to be an American male and follow this lifestyle, as our identities are often so wrapped up in our careers and income. But I've found that the guys I know who make a lot of money and work a lot of hours are often extremely intrigued when I tell them about my day-to-day. They often can't comprehend that anyone could be happy not pursuing more money at the expense of everything else, but for me, it wasn't really a choice. It was just my natural inclination.

On the other hand, I can't comprehend that people are happy working 60+ hour weeks and making a lot of money, only to have no time or energy to enjoy it. I get the retirement argument, but is it really wise to build your entire life around your 60+ year old self while sacrificing your youth and vitality to the corporate grind? Maybe it is, especially if you make enough to retire really early (40s).

Obviously, I still work. And some weeks I work a lot of hours! More than 40 for sure. But I do it from home and I don't have a boss (instead, I have clients, which have their own pros and cons). But work is truly just something I do to live and spend time with friends, family, and hobbies.
Yeah, I've made my peace with being a bit of a unicorn, with both its good and bad elements. For me, real courage is walking your own road - moving from the space within that really, well, moves you, regardless of the momentum of the herd. That's the road I walk.

And the whole working for retirement agenda has always been laughable to me personally. No one is guaranteed to reach retirement (many don't), and even those who do often find themselves arriving without the health or stamina to enjoy what they spent their whole lives working towards. The irony.

Today is the only day we have. The future exists only conceptually - in the mind alone. Enjoy what you *have*...this moment.
 

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
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May 30, 2004
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tsumake

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Dec 3, 2019
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There has a been a rise in Zombie companies, due in no small part to easy money and bad corporate practices. In these companies, there is often a sentiment that “they have the money.” Because of this, managers often fight for their budgets based on their verbal skills and politicking. Productivity doesn’t even enter the equation.

I believe these large companies have less of an incentive to function properly because of said easy money and their relationship with the government (lobbyists). If they run into trouble, then the government will bail them out. (You don’t see this with small businesses). While networking is an important job skill, some are so ‘good’ at it that they become company politicians rather than employees. Add the Peter Principle and you have that dysfunction some of you complain about. It’s a problem.
 

tsumake

Member
Dec 3, 2019
1,010
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I've had the urge to quit over the past few months due to some of the strains at work. I even took a short term notice vacation early this year to get some time off to help distance myself from some of the drudgery of work. These feelings of dissatisfaction quite honestly make no sense to me--It's easily the best job I've ever had and at the best pay rate. So what drives this? In the article below, I believe the following sentence encapsulates what is happening in my mind:

I've been in my current role for about 3.5 years, promoted from a similar position I was in for 2. I get enough praise, raises, promotions, etc.Yet the work, while often fulfilling, comes with a lot of internal politics that is draining. I've essentially been fighting the same fight for over 5 years. I'm good at it, but it does not come without a mental toll.

How are you faring GAF? Are you feeling burnt out? What are you doing to combat it?

Locked behind a paywall, so the text of the article is below:

In some ways, you’re moving up Maslov’s hierarchy of needs. If your job is not giving you that transcendent satisfaction you should ask yourself what would, and act accordingly.
 

The Elite

BOSS
Apr 8, 2006
68,344
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Toronto
I am in the process of negotiating myself out of my current position with a one year salary package included. My organizational knowledge has given me some leverage but recently they have been trying to get me to fill admin level roles due to downsizing. It’s clear there is no growth and I don’t want to move backwards in my role so I just want out at this point. At least I am in a position to leave with some money.
 

Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
Sep 5, 2014
10,309
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In some ways, you’re moving up Maslov’s hierarchy of needs. If your job is not giving you that transcendent satisfaction you should ask yourself what would, and act accordingly.
Yeah, great point here. I intentionally made drastic lifestyle changes once Covid hit. I went from spending most of my time out on the road to now home bound. I immediately began daily workouts, dropped alcohol, and corrected my diet. It’s been a great change and there is a bit of what’s next going through my mind. Early retirement is a goal my wife and I have. This job expedited that due to the high pay. No other employer in my area pays as much so any movement comes at a longer time period between now & early retirement.

I am also sensing a better attitude with the winter behind me. I’ve always been an outdoors person. Once I can spend more time kayaking, rock climbing, and camping, my energy at work should increase.

The point still remains and needs me to find the answer: what’s next?
 
Last edited:

Taxexemption

Member
Oct 11, 2011
1,681
2,215
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It's hard to be an American male and follow this lifestyle, as our identities are often so wrapped up in our careers and income. But I've found that the guys I know who make a lot of money and work a lot of hours are often extremely intrigued when I tell them about my day-to-day. They often can't comprehend that anyone could be happy not pursuing more money at the expense of everything else, but for me, it wasn't really a choice. It was just my natural inclination.

On the other hand, I can't comprehend that people are happy working 60+ hour weeks and making a lot of money, only to have no time or energy to enjoy it. I get the retirement argument, but is it really wise to build your entire life around your 60+ year old self while sacrificing your youth and vitality to the corporate grind? Maybe it is, especially if you make enough to retire really early (40s).

Obviously, I still work. And some weeks I work a lot of hours! More than 40 for sure. But I do it from home and I don't have a boss (instead, I have clients, which have their own pros and cons). But work is truly just something I do to live and spend time with friends, family, and hobbies.

I can understand how someone can be happy not pursuing money, I just don't understand how they can afford anything. It seems like you have to work pretty hard for most people just to pay rent.
 
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tsumake

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Yeah, great point here. I intentionally made drastic lifestyle changes once Covid hit. I went from spending most of my time out on the road to now home bound. I immediately began daily workouts, dropped alcohol, and corrected my diet. It’s been a great change and there is a bit of what’s next going through my mind. Early retirement is a goal my wife and I have. This job expedited that due to the high pay. No other employer in my area pays as much so any movement comes at a longer time period between now & early retirement.

I am also sensing a better attitude with the winter behind me. I’ve always been an outdoors person. Once I can spend more time kayaking, rock climbing, and camping, my energy at work should increase.

The point still remains and needs me to find the answer: what’s next?

Only you can answer that.
 
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Billbofet

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Oct 21, 2018
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I got laid off back in February in my then company's first round of reductions due to COVID crippling the business. I was the revenue/metrics/operations leader, so I saw the writing on the wall for months. The wife and I (two kids as well) live a very comfortable life and I was making great money, but saving almost all of it. I'm in my mid-forties and having been on top of my finances and living within my means, I can retire and continue to be comfortable. That said, I feel I need to contribute something either to my family or just in general, so I do see myself going back to work. It's honestly been quite amazing to have these last few months off and I feel 10x less stress than I did when I worked. I spend way more time with my kids, my wife and I have become even closer and have strengthened our partnership even more. I have had a few interviews these past couple weeks for jobs that would put me back to where I was at salary-wise and I am just not feeling it yet. My goal is to go back on my terms at this point (remote role, not manage P&L's or people) and just hang it up for good in five years. Working a job you hate for money you don't need is no way to live.
 
Nov 29, 2016
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Ive been working with the same company for almost 9 years now and been at the same position for the last 5 or so. Its become a lot of draining drudgery. I've been really thinking of quitting but its difficult because I feel like there are limited places to land and almost nothing that would pay the same. I also genuinely like a lot of my co-workers too so that makes it hard.
 
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GeorgPrime

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Jan 9, 2020
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I've had the urge to quit over the past few months due to some of the strains at work. I even took a short term notice vacation early this year to get some time off to help distance myself from some of the drudgery of work. These feelings of dissatisfaction quite honestly make no sense to me--It's easily the best job I've ever had and at the best pay rate. So what drives this? In the article below, I believe the following sentence encapsulates what is happening in my mind:

I've been in my current role for about 3.5 years, promoted from a similar position I was in for 2. I get enough praise, raises, promotions, etc.Yet the work, while often fulfilling, comes with a lot of internal politics that is draining. I've essentially been fighting the same fight for over 5 years. I'm good at it, but it does not come without a mental toll.

How are you faring GAF? Are you feeling burnt out? What are you doing to combat it?

Locked behind a paywall, so the text of the article is below:

At the moment iam really thinking of quitting my first job in the Probationary period ever.

It was just a job to get out of Social Help 1 before falling down to Social Help 2. Otherwise i wouldnt have gotten any appartments. The choice was get a job or wait for Social Help 2, which is kinda shit to begin with. lol

The job already fucks me up. Customer support in Home Office. The job is so fucking bad for me right now due to some construction work next to my appartment which started at the same time i started working on the phone. COmpany was like "If you ever have problems come to us and talk about it, we can solve almost everything".

Jeah... never got any help. Feels like iam already suffering from Burnout again. Have a job interview soon for another job with better payment and better work that fits me more. So wish me luck.
 
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dr_octagon

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Apr 25, 2009
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internal politics can die in a fire. i have seen some people leave and people will see better opportunities elsewhere. the old style of work may be fine for some people but many can see a lot of disadvantages of trying to continue as before.

health and wellbeing should always be a priority, i understand why it can be difficult to manage.
 
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Celcius

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Mar 11, 2009
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I've definitely been feeling burned out, but I'm on vacation this week so that helps.
Last year I got passed over for 2 promotions and that definitely stung, especially since I've never been promoted before. My salary is high and that keeps me there though. Quitting would feel good in the short term but it's good to be employed during a pandemic.
 
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AJUMP23

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I am fairly successful but I don't look at my work as fulfilling. My work is actually the means by which I earn an income to pay for a lot of the things that we has a family find fulfilling.
 

Aesius

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I can understand how someone can be happy not pursuing money, I just don't understand how they can afford anything. It seems like you have to work pretty hard for most people just to pay rent.
Yeah, it's not a position everyone can be in. You gotta have a marketable skill that can be utilized in a freelance/contract/small-biz role.
 
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Outlier

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The point: We need to apply themselves to something that get the basics we need and NOT rely on the "system" to give it to us. We need to keep ourselves busy productive (not destructive) activities or we'll lose our minds.

Not that anyone asked:

TL;DR: "I am comfortable with my job. Relying on long term unemployment money seems like a recipe for personal disaster. I like being useful and keeping my brain exercised. I also like being able to afford nice simple things."



I've been in my position for 6 years (next month). I am THE BEST at it and the higher ups know not to give me lip if I don't finish 10+ hours of work within 8 hours, because it's a lonely and complex job (I'm ok with this because I'm not social and like to keep my mind calm) and most people quit quickly. It's also often a 2 person job for one person to complete. I just do the best I can, with the tools I have available.

The biggest problem is incompetent management. Timing is more important to them, than anything. Because of this, they tend to start important tasks, without proper preparation. This ends up complicating the process and causing mistakes and clog ups.

I have been offered to move up a number of times and have refused every time, due to the stress I see trickling down, from the higher ups. If they are miserable, then why would I want to join them and risk becoming like them (I even said this to the second in command last year)? The money just doesn't seem worth the mental breakdowns.

I've even offered my own solutions a couple years ago to timing (for my position), by having me work longer hours (to complete heavier tasks and help other areas if not busy), in exchange for 3 days off. This was a win-win, situation to me. They thought about it, but instead of trying out my idea, they decided to apply it to EVERYONE on the team (with a passed team vote). This OBVIOUSLY complicated the idea. 6 months later, they reverted everyone back to the old scheduling, because the plan allegedly "wasn't working". HHMM Maybe because some of the others where taking advantage of the extra time they had and started slowing down. So technically MANAGEMENTS idea wasn't working.

Two years ago, I decided to make changes with how I handle my job and myself. I decided to stop working endless overtime, and lose some gained weight (stress eating, due to work). Now I'm less stressed and don't eat nearly as many burgers and pizzas as I used. Generally feel better now that I give myself time for personal tasks.

So why stay, instead of quit? Despite all the issues, this is the best job I've had, so far. I live close enough to go home for lunch. I am paid enough to afford games, my car, useless products, my rent, junk food, and even thousands of dollars in stock trading. And on top of that, I'll be fine for a couple years if I lose the job.

So it's about relative comfort. I want to do and see others do better, in our lives. I want everyone to be happy, but I understand life doesn't just give us things, because we want them.

I think the root issue is that I'm not a ambitious person. If I drove myself enough, I could probably rectify a lot of these problems. I have a lot of ideas, just lack the drive to push them forward.

Thanks, for reading.
 
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nush

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Oct 16, 2017
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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
There has a been a rise in Zombie companies, due in no small part to easy money and bad corporate practices. In these companies, there is often a sentiment that “they have the money.” Because of this, managers often fight for their budgets based on their verbal skills and politicking. Productivity doesn’t even enter the equation.

I've seen this in non corporate workplaces as well. I did some short term temp work when I was younger between main jobs and two of those were placements at a University and a local government office. The staff there had no drive or motivation other than to just finish the day and wait for the weekend. It was great for a slacker like me, nobody was constantly over my shoulder or putting any pressure on. Honestly I think the only reason they got temps in was because they let work build up because they had no reason to push themselves harder to finish anything, "We really need a temp for this backlog!". I just powered through it and then sat there posting on forums picking up a days pay it was honestly just a couple of hours amount of work a day.

I think the difference in these places is that they were not about making money, keeping shareholders happy, having to sell anything or even have actual "Customers".
 

tsumake

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Dec 3, 2019
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I've seen this in non corporate workplaces as well. I did some short term temp work when I was younger between main jobs and two of those were placements at a University and a local government office. The staff there had no drive or motivation other than to just finish the day and wait for the weekend. It was great for a slacker like me, nobody was constantly over my shoulder or putting any pressure on. Honestly I think the only reason they got temps in was because they let work build up because they had no reason to push themselves harder to finish anything, "We really need a temp for this backlog!". I just powered through it and then sat there posting on forums picking up a days pay it was honestly just a couple of hours amount of work a day.

I think the difference in these places is that they were not about making money, keeping shareholders happy, having to sell anything or even have actual "Customers".

Protip: it doesn’t.
 

TransTrender

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Dec 17, 2006
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Margaritaville
Sorry for the late bump but I finally had time to read the quoted part of the article.


Having transcended the Cold War’s reactive politics and fear of the foreign, Han argues, we’ve become “achievement-subjects” rather than “obedience-subjects.” Ostensibly freed from external dictatorship and bodily threat, we are left to rule ourselves, and we are merciless: “The exhausted, depressive achievement-subject grinds itself down, so to speak … Entirely incapable of stepping outward, of standing outside itself, of relying on the Other, it locks its jaws on itself; paradoxically, this leads the self to hollow and empty out.” Under Han’s theory of contemporary burnout, we are the snake eating its own tail.

My first two thoughts were:

The 'solution' sounds like a 1984 type scenario.

Also I think China and Russia might solve this 'problem' again.
 

tsumake

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Dec 3, 2019
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Sorry for the late bump but I finally had time to read the quoted part of the article.




My first two thoughts were:

The 'solution' sounds like a 1984 type scenario.

Also I think China and Russia might solve this 'problem' again.

An academic talking about the Cold War. Quelle surprise.

So to him, we are “subjects” (slaves) of obedience and now achievement. This insistence on being X as oppose to Y is classic dialectic. I imagine the solution for him is simple - and wrong.
 
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TransTrender

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Margaritaville
An academic talking about the Cold War. Quelle surprise.

So to him, we are “subjects” (slaves) of obedience and now achievement. This insistence on being X as oppose to Y is classic dialectic. I imagine the solution for him is simple - and wrong.
Fucking right?
 

DeepBreath87

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I have a really different outlook towards work than many people. I don’t need fulfillment at work. I mean, I guess it’s somewhat fulfilling as a healthcare provider, but it after a while it’s still a job. I don’t need it to fulfill me on a personal level. I have a family for that. Job is for money, first and foremost. My job pays well and provides benefits for my family. I’ve been there long enough that I get like six weeks off a year. I work 3 12hr shifts a week. I’m off a ton throughout the year.

My job is primarily fulfills one need. Money. If I’m looking for spiritual or psychological fulfillment, I’m not really trying to get it at work. I guess it would be great if I did. It’s not like I don’t like what I do. I value it and I like helping people. But I’ve never gone to work looking for meaning. I go to work to get my job done well and go home.
 
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